The Skin and Its Functions

Most people may not recognize it but the human skin is an organ. It is actually the largest organ of the human body. What are the functions of the skin? It serves many functions such as regulating body temperature and acting as a barrier from the outside elements. It even has the ability to repair itself once it has been damaged. Think of the many times you’ve had a cut or an injury to your skin. It is your body’s first line of defense. The skin is composed of three main layers – the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous layer.


The epidermis is the outer most layer of the skin. The outside of the epidermis is made up of dead skin cells. Cell division in this layer of skin contributes to regeneration. New skin cells are constantly produced to replace the dead ones. The sebaceous glands produce an oil that helps make the skin waterproof.


The dermis lies beneath the epidermis. It contains all of our hair follicles and sweat glands. The dermis is the thickest and perhaps the busiest layer of your skin. Besides hair follicles, you will also find nerve endings in this layer of your skin. Tiny blood vessels are nestled all throughout the dermis constantly feeding blood and oxygen for rejuvenation. Sweat glands nestled deep in this layer of skin allow your body to sweat and rid itself of toxins. This action also acts as a coolant helping your body to regulate temperature.

Subcutaneous Layer

This layer of your skin is primarily composed of fat tissue and is the innermost layer of skin. This fat tissue helps connect the dermis to your muscles and even your bones in some places. This is the layer of skin that helps to insulate your body and protect against damage such as falls. The subcutaneous layer of skin is the most important layer when it comes to regulating body temperature. It insulates us and keeps us from getting too hot or too cold.

The skin itself is a complex organ that plays a vital role in our everyday lives. The functions of the skin are numerous. It affords us many things that most people take for granted. Our skin helps give our bodies shape, protection, style, and insulation. We need to maintain our skin just like any other part of our body.

It needs the proper nutrition and lots of water. Water is so important to our skin. We need the right amount of water for our skin to do its job properly. It becomes painfully obvious when we neglect our skin. It will start to wrinkle and become dry or flakey. Pay attention to your skin, it is your bodies first line of defense in the outside world. The functions of the skin are vital to our everyday lives.